Developer of Art Park site collects more input

Sebastian Mariscal Studio, Inc. (SMS), the developer of the Art Park site, held a community meeting last month at the Roxbury Community College to collect more input from the public about art and green space at the proposed redevelopment.

Views expressed by attendees ranged from the general to the specific, including a request to have fruit-producing trees planted at the redeveloped site, according to Brian Militana of SMS. He said one attendee spoke about the importance of having Internet access at the public space to allow for outdoor video art installations.

Militana said that the meeting was a “platform for ideas.” He said that SMS wants to “take in as much information as possible” and will “incorporate as many ideas as possible” into the construction drawings.

Militana said about 12 people spoke at the community meeting, including local state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez.

The Art Park site is City-owned land between Parker and Terrace Streets that is being redeveloped into community gardens and residential and retail space. The site currently contains the Art Park, which is an area with murals, mosaic footpath tiles and colorful furniture, and community gardens that are operated by local residents.

SMS’s plan is to redevelop the Art Park site into 44 apartments with 10 affordable housing units; 58,000 square feet of green space; and 4,000 square feet of retail space. The site will have 30 parking spaces and 82 bike-parking spaces.

The site will also have community gardens on the roof of the buildings, along with a solar-panel farm towards the Terrace Street side. It is expected to be LEED-certified platinum, which is the construction industry’s highest energy-efficient rating. The site is slated to produce more energy than it will use.

The Art Park site was closed earlier this year after having been found to have high levels of lead, and the City has prohibited access to it. The developers will clean up the site.

Militana said the next step is to produce the construction drawings, but said SMS will continue to meet with involved community members.

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